Ariz. in 3-way tie for biggest rise in DUI deaths
Glen Creno
The Arizona Republic
Aug. 27, 2007 12:00 AM
Arizona was among three states leading the nation in the biggest increase in drunken-driving fatalities from 2005 to 2006.
The state tied with Texas and Kansas, having had 34 more fatal crashes involving car and motorcycle drivers with a blood-alcohol content of at least 0.08 percent, the legal threshold for intoxication. That's an increase of 9.1 percent in Arizona, while the national number fell almost 1 percent, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's latest report on alcohol-related fatalities.
"Arizona is the fastest-growing state in the country now. . . . But it's not an excuse for more impaired drivers on the road," said Michael Hegarty, spokesman for the Governor's Office of Highway Safety.
The NHTSA also tracks fatal accidents in which drivers, cyclists or pedestrians have a blood-alcohol content of at least 0.01 percent. That increased 0.1 percent nationally and 15.2 percent in Arizona from 2005 to 2006.